Artificial intelligence (AI) is seeping into businesses the way water seeps into homes during a major flood. It goes through the rift it finds without anyone or anything dodging it. The risks have already been uncovered by the world’s foremost scientists. But only now are the first studies on the actual effects on the world of work appearing. In this sense, the report prepared by IBM experts is instructive, The technology pioneer in the previous digital wave concluded that in the next three years, 1,400 million workers worldwide will need to be reskilled from the companies that do it The case is that they are working on being able to continue the tasks that they have done so far and that are being changed by the AI.
This changes the picture previously presented by analysts, who assumed millions of jobs would be lost. According to this study, if workers can adapt to change and receive training to perform their tasks in an AI-adapted way, they will stay in their jobs.
The IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) used two surveys for its study: one of 3,000 senior executives from 28 countries and one of 3,000 senior executives from 28 countries. In the other case, 21,000 employees from 21 countries were interviewed.
The key takeaway is that executives believe that 4 in 10 employees, which equates to about 1.4 billion of the world’s 3.4 billion workers according to the World Bank, need reskilling as a result of the application of AI. Generation and automation by companies. Although employees at all levels can be expected to be affected, those at the entry level are most at risk. 77% of executives surveyed said the impact of AI is already being felt in entry-level roles and will increase over the next two years. For managerial or senior management positions, that figure drops to 22%.
A previous study published in March found that AI would wipe out at least 300 million jobs almost immediately, but 87% of executives who took part in the IBM report believe that won’t happen and that more specialized labor will be needed if it does. According to the World Economic Forum, the AI revolution will destroy 85 million jobs and create 97 million new jobs worldwide over the next two years. It was also forecast that 44% of workers’ skills will change between 2023 and 2025, an increase of nine percentage points from the last five-year forecast.
The IBM IBV research also found that those who manage to retrain to adapt to new technologies are not only more likely to keep their jobs but are also better paid. “Technology-driven job changes have an average revenue growth rate of 15%,” the report states, adding that those focused on AI “will see a revenue growth rate of 36% higher than their peers.” Of course, this varies depending on the role. Positions in the procurement department of multinational companies are the most secure from elimination, followed by risk and compliance and finance departments. Customer service and marketing positions are the most uncertain.
Another interesting finding is the decline in the importance of STEM (math, science, technology, and engineering) skills, which until 2016 were thought to be the most important requirement for the best jobs. In 2023, “time management and the ability to prioritize” will be the top critical skills, followed by the ability to “work in team environments” and “the ability to communicate effectively.”
Despite the optimism of business people interviewed for this study, UK Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden warned again last week of the consequences of the dynamic with which AI is being developed. “It will completely change almost every element of life over the next few years, even months in some cases,” he said. “It’s much faster than other revolutions we’ve seen and much broader, be it the invention of the internal combustion engine or the industrial revolution,” he added.
Other studies on the effects of AI speak of different realities. The stress and anxiety associated with these job losses led to 80% of technicians taking medication as a coping strategy under medical or other supervision. Excessive alcohol consumption is also becoming more common. And the study’s conclusion may not bring further reassurance: “AI won’t replace people, but people who use AI will replace people who don’t.” Ironically, IBM was one of the first companies to confirm that there weren’t any jobs will hire more for positions that could be filled by applied AI technology.